A quarter of Walsall schools given a poor rating

A quarter of schools and academies in Walsall have been rated inadequate or require improvement by education watchdogs, a new report has shown.


Out of the 120 nursery, primary and secondary schools in the borough, 32 were given the ratings in their latest Ofsted inspections.

The figures come from a scrutiny of education performance and is a year after a separate report by Ofsted which rated the council ineffective at supporting schools.

In response to the latest report, education chiefs at Walsall Council have set an action plan to drive up standards and have insisted significant improvements have been made.

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According to the scrutiny report, eight of Walsall's schools are currently placed under Special Measures with three being removed from the order from October last year.

The report shows that four of Walsall's eight secondary academies were rated inadequate by Ofsted including West Walsall E-Act Academy, The Mirus Academy, Ormiston Shelfield Academy and the Black Country University Technical College, which is set to close later this summer. Ormiston has recently been rated 'good' by Ofsted.

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However, the report does reflect the good work done in all of the borough's eight nursery schools with them all being rated as outstanding.

Councillor Peter Smith, who is the chairman of the Education and Children's Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee, said: "There are 64,000 young people in Walsall and a big percentage of them are going to an inadequate school or one which requires improvement. This is concerning for the people of Walsall.

"And what these figures also show is exactly the opposite of the message being portrayed to the public that turning primary schools into academies will improve performance levels.

"These figures show that four of the secondary schools which turned into academies in Walsall are currently inadequate. So turning to academies is not the magic wand trick that many think happen."

An action plan drawn up by council chiefs includes working on a number of key priorities to help the borough's education performance rise up again.

To help improve performance of schools, Walsall Council has formed a new education challenge board which consists of councillors, headteachers, governors and officers from children's services.

Lynda Poole, assistant director for access and achievement, said the action plan was a work in progress.

"There is strong evidence of significant improvements made in procedures and the council has worked hard to build working relationships with schools and academies."

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